Mitt Romney, Bob McDonnell, Nikki Haley: A new conservative order
By Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 2/4/12
“One size does not fit all" was the catch phrase I used in my early complaints and Romney first used the phrase publicly. He was clearly suggesting a change in format and a historic change of outlook. Truth is, it was only after the Tea Party event at the Alamo that state and regional autonomy became a real and advancing possibility. So when Governor Romney suggested early on that his Massachusetts health care plan go national he was merely advancing it from the “initiative state” of Massachusetts to the vast generic, continent-wide model of governance, the only way ideas had come to practice in the U.S. since 1865. But after the nation-wide, grass roots Tea Party uprisings of April, 2009, a more practical and efficient system tailored to regions and states became a real possibility. Nixon had tried earlier to regionalize but the model he used was ineffective as it did not follow the natural cultural contours of America and the timing was all wrong. But Romney could see now that the times had at last changed enough to mobilize a more creative and efficient management model. Provided that leadership had the prodigious management skills that he has.
Watching Romney in Massachusetts and at the great Winter Olympics event that he ran in 2002 you could see that he knows how to fix things and he does this by ignoring prejudices, ideology and the set ways in which things were always done before: Instead, by focusing zen-like on the thing itself that needs to be fixed and ignoring everything else.
The initial offerings of the Tea Party have been lost in conservatism’s recent long day’s journey into the night. (Was the Gingrich scam all along geared to make Newt Rick Perry’s VP?) But Romney stands apart. Of the original Tea Party others, so do governors Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Bob McDonnell of Virginia who came to position in the original Tea Party wave.
Romney has always been more a westerner than a New Englander but he has certainly certified himself as a New Englander as Governor of Massachusetts. If he brought in Haley or McDonnell for VP we would have our traditional north/south break. But we would also have an east/west break with Haley and McDonnell representing the east and Romney who comes from western generations in a 100-year-journey representing the west, a binary more suited to the times and the centuries ahead in a future which looks across the Pacific as well as the Atlantic.
Our American journey to date is prehistory; prelude to a great awakening. We have been a north/south country for 200-some years and still lag there psychologically, but demographics have since WW II made us essentially east/west. And could well remain an east/west country now for a thousand years.